Feed International - November/December 2012 - 23

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FIGURE 1: Transmethylation reactions
Folate (diet)
MTHFR

Dietary choline, betaine and methionine
are interchangeable for transmethylation.

DNA
Methylation

Possible increased
atherogenesis

Methionine
(diet)
S-adenosylmethionine
FOLATE
Choline
(diet)
METHIONINE

Methylene-THF

Vitamin
B12

CHOLINE
BHMT

Methyl-THF
Vitamin B6
Cysteine

S-adenosyl
homocysteine

Betaine
(diet)
BETAINE

HOMOCYSTEINE

Betaine in poultry production

Elklund et al., (2005) and Ratriyanto
et al., (2009) carried out comprehensive
reviews of the effects of feeding betaine
to poultry. Results of nutrient digestibility,
animal performance, metabolism and
improvement in carcass leanness were reviewed and reported. These peer-reviewed
papers illustrated the benefits of betaine
as a feed additive capable of improving
animal performance and slaughter characteristics. Studies included in these reviews
were conducted with a particular scientific
thought, and animal responses were the
result of one of the betaine's modes of
action. These were both influenced by the
concentration of other methyl donors in the
diet and the presence of either an osmotic
or metabolic stress.

Methyl donor and sparing effect

Dietary supplementation of betaine
may reduce the requirement of other
methyl donors, such as methionine
and choline (Siljander-Rasi et al., 2003).
However, this theoretical application
must be subjected to considerable
analysis before practical implementation
(Matthews et al., 2001; Zhan et al., 2006).
This sparing effect of methionine and
choline has been thoroughly investigated

A trial at IPME in Pune, India, showed
improved performance and carcass
yield for all treatments.
November/December 2012 | WATTAgNet.com

in poultry. Pesti et al., (1979) showed
that the dietary addition of betaine and
methionine can replace each other in
broiler chicks. Florou-Paneri et al., (1997)
showed that between 30 percent and 80

percent of the supplemental methionine
can be substituted by betaine without
negative effects on performance. A more
conservative replacement approach
was evaluated in popular magazines
by Lensing and Van der Klis (2007) and
Cresswell (2010). Both experiments studied the bioequivalency between betaine
and choline/methionine in broilers diets;
whereas choline was fully replaced, methionine decreased by 25 percent to 30
percent of daily requirements. Within this
range of replacement, no differences in
broilers performance were observed.

Practical studies

In line with the results found by
Cresswell, Dr. Rama Rao (2011, unpublished) performed a trial at IPME in Pune,
India, and showed improved performance

FIGURE 2: Trial results Excential Beta-key on production
performance, slaughter yields and economical evaluation
Excential Beta-Key Treatments
Final Body Weight (kg)

T1 (Control)
2.11
Performance
Feed Conversion (kg feed/kg growth)
1.92
Economical evaluation
Average feed cost (USD/kg)
0.368
Average feed consumption (kg)
4.04
Total feeding cost (USD/bird)
1.487
Chick cost (USD/bird)
0.56
Medication/vaccination (per bird)
0.05
Administrative (per bird)
0.11
Total production cost (USD/bird)
2.207
Average live body weight (kg)
2.11
Average dressing %
74.82
Average dressing weight
1.577
Production cost per kg live weight (USD)
1.05
Cost of production
1.40
per kg dressed weight (USD)

T2
2.16

T3
2.12

T4
2.15

1.83

1.89

1.85

0.370
3.96
1.466
0.56
0.05
0.11
2.186
2.16
77.60
1.679
1.01

0.367
4.07
1.492
0.56
0.05
0.11
2.212
2.13
75.99
1.616
1.04

0.368
3.98
1.464
0.56
0.05
0.11
2.184
2.15
77.57
1.671
1.01

1.30

1.37

1.31

T1: Control diet
T2: Diet containing Excential Beta-key @ 500gm per/MT
T3: Diet containing Excential Beta-key @ 500gm per/MT by
replacing 750gm CholineChloride & 200gm Methionine
T4: Diet containing Excential Beta-key @ 1000gm per/MT by
replacing 1000gm CholineChloride & 300gm Methionine
Purities: Excential Beta-key: min. 71%; CholineChloride 75%; DL-Methionine 98%


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